The cost of fishing tackle has hit the roof after three of the UK’s largest manufacturers were forced to increase their prices by 30 per cent due to rock-bottom exchange rates between Great Britain and the Far East.
The hike is already taking effect on the nation’s tackle shop shelves, which could soon be featuring empty spaces as companies run out of stock while waiting for exchange rates to rise before buying again.
An independent fishing tackle sales agent working between the UK and China told Angling Times that the exchange rate has dropped 25 per cent in the past 12 months which, combined with the increasing cost of raw materials, all adds up to a rise of 30 per cent. The cost of fibreglass alone has gone up by a huge 73 per cent in the past 18 months.
“If the exchange rate was only 5-10 per cent down then manufacturers could swallow it, but now they have no choice but to sell a lower-quality product at the same price, or put prices up. Some items are unviable at 30 per cent more, so companies won’t even buy them in, which could lead to shortages in the UK. We’ve not seen these increases on the high street yet because they purchase products 6-8 months in advance, while fishing tackle manufacturers buy stock as and when they need it,” said our source.
Stephen McCaveny, marketing manager for Daiwa Sports, said that his had been one of the last companies to apply price increases because it had otherwise become impossible to remain profitable.
“We have now had no choice but to issue a revised price list to our dealers at the beginning of April. Thankfully, not all products have been affected - our Infinity and Mission accessory ranges stay the same and our UK-made rods and poles see little change. If there is any upside it’s that many UK dealers are seeing a big increase in mail order demand from customers in mainland Europe,” he explained.
Staff in tackle shops, such as Simon Green from Banks and Burr in Rugby, said problems occur when customers expect to pay the prices advertised in angling magazines.
“These figures are a month old, and very difficult to honour because of rising trade prices. When selling prices have to follow suit they look unrealistic. For example, one £129.99 pole is now £199.99. Popular top end reels seem most affected, and anglers are now turning to mid-range ones,” said Simon.